The Supreme Court of Brazil has upheld prison sentences for most of the businessmen and politicians found guilty in a major corruption case, the BBC reported
More than 20 people were convicted in the “Mensalao” (big monthly allowance) scandal, which came to public attention in 2005. It involved illicit payments to opposition politicians for supporting the government headed by then-Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on key votes.
The court has not said how many of those convicted would go to prison. But one who likely will is Jose Dirceu, Lula’s ex-chief of staff, who received a sentence of 10 years and 10 months imprisonment.
Others reportedly headed for incarceration include the former treasurer of the ruling Workers Party, Delubio Soares, and former party chairman Jose Genoino.
Lula, who had high approval ratings when he left the presidency four years ago, continues to be popular with many Brazilians. He was not charged in the corruption case.
Brazilian politicians are rarely sent to prison on corruption or more serious charges, the New York Times reported
, because close to 700 political figures — including all members of the Brazilian Congress — have been granted a special judicial standing.
It mandates that cases brought against them be heard in the Supreme Court, which strains to deal with thousands of other cases brought before it every year.
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